Letter from the Chairman of the Committee
to the Office of the London Representative, Turkish Republic Of
Thank you for your letter of 21 October.
The Committee decided at an early stage in its
Cyprus inquiry that it would not hear oral evidence from representatives
of the two communities on the island, or from representatives
of governments. Instead, the Committee is relying on the written
evidence it receives and on the forthcoming visit to Cyprus by
a group of its Members to inform it of the views of all parties
to the Cyprus issue. I can assure you that, with more than 140
pieces of written evidence so far received, no point of view has
gone unrepresented. I am also happy to confirm that, when a group
of colleagues from the Committee visits Cyprus next month, it
will give equal time to hearing both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek
The Committee has heard oral evidence from Dr
Savvides, who as you know is a research fellow at an Athens-based
institute, ELIAMEP. The Committee will also be hearing oral evidence
from Ozdem Sanberk, who will be well-known to you as Director
of TESEV. We selected each of these witnesses because we have
met them before, and we know them to be rigorously academic in
their approach to the Cyprus question. Having heard Dr Savvides'
evidence last Tuesday, I am reassured that we made the right choice.
For the avoidance of doubt, I repeat that the
Committee does not regard any of the witnesses whom it has invited
to appear before it as a representative of either of the main
communities on Cyprus. Neither has the Committee selected any
of its witnesses on the basis of their place of birth. Any suggestion
that the Committee's inquiry is "one-sided" or "unsound"
is totally without foundation. I can give you my personal guarantee
that the inquiry is being and will continue to be conducted with
scrupulous impartiality and objectivity.
Rt Hon Donald Anderson MP
25 October 2004
Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President's Office
Christopher Brewin was kind enough to send me
a copy of his "Memo for Foreign Affairs Committee hearing
on Cyprus" of 18 October 2004, following his meeting with
the Foreign Affairs Committee on 19 October 2004.
In this memo, Mr Brewin, whom I know personally,
refers to one of the proposals I made in my submission to the
Foreign Affairs Committee (I had sent him a copy) and states that
my ". . . thesis that the EU should treat Turkish Cyprus
as a polity is a non-starter". Mr Brewin argues that this
is because ". . . the EU cannot recognise the TRNC as a self-determining
sovereign state, legally competent to choose to become part of
I believe the reference of Mr Brewin to this
very important point in my submission entitles me to further clarify
my proposal, in order to avoid any misconception on the part of
the Foreign Affairs Committee.
What I proposed in my submission is completely
in line with the word, spirit and vision of the Annan Plan. The
Annan Plan, based on the 1959-60 Treaties on Cyprus and the facts
on the ground, confirms in its Main Articles that the relationship
of the two sides ". . . is not one of majority and minority
but of political equality where neither side may claim authority
or jurisdiction over the other" (para iii). As I have explained
in my submission, since the Greek Cypriot side and/or its government
do not have the right to exercise authority or jurisdiction, both
in de-jure and de-facto terms, over the Turkish Cypriot people
in North Cyprus, then we have to find a formula to provide for
the equal treatment of the Turkish Cypriot side without subordinating
it, directly or indirectly, to the Greek Cypriot polity.
For the purpose of clarification, let me labour
the subject of equality a little further. The sovereignty of the
historical 1960 partnership Republic of Cyprus was clearly defined
and restricted by international law (London and Zurich Agreements
of 1959) in order to protect the more vulnerable Turkish Cypriot
partner. The illegal amendments of the constitution and the violations
of the constitutional and civil rights of the Turkish Cypriot
people during the early 1960s therefore surpassed the legal scope
of Cyprus' sovereignty (ultra vires acts). Furthermore, the institutions
of the 1960 partnership Republic of Cyprus were incapable of functioning
as of December 1963 as originally designed in the 1960 Constitution.
From December 1963 on, what pretended to be the "Republic
of Cyprus" in fact turned into a de-facto Greek Cypriot regime.
If this Greek Cypriot regime is entitled to statehood, recognition
and sovereignty, in spite of all its illegal deeds, the Turkish
Cypriot side, as a political equal, is equally entitled, if not
more, to the same things in order to maintain and safeguard its
political equality and parity. In spite of this, the Turkish Cypriot
Government has chosen to put this "necessity" aside
at this time and instead direct its efforts at achieving a new
bi-zonal partnership settlement as two equal political bodies
Let me also point out in this connection that,
strictly speaking, both the so-called "Republic of Cyprus"
and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are illegitimate
to the same degree regarding the provisions of the Treaties of
1959, as well as the constitution of the 1960 partnership Republic
of Cyprus. Furthermore, the resolutions of the UN Security Council
541/1983 and 550/1984 not to recognise the TRNC as a state are
merely political advice and not legally binding. Moreover, these
resolutions overlook the fact that illegal acts were first committed
by the Greek Cypriot side and it was the failure to serve justice
that necessitated the establishment of the TRNC in 1983, 20 years
after the violent hijacking of the 1960 partnership state by the
Greek Cypriot partner, so that the Turkish Cypriot people would
not be left stateless.
Today, 40 years on, the Turkish Cypriot people
are still subjected to Greek Cypriot- inspired embargos and international
isolation, in spite of the fact that they cannot be subordinated
to Greek Cypriot authority and the fact that they have accepted
the Secretary-General's new bi-zonal partnership Plan. This injustice
has to end, and to end it, we need to break the practices and
mentality of the past. Therefore, we have to find new forward-looking
remedies that will go beyond the limits of the "black and
white" approach that has imprisoned us for so long and explore
the grey area (the area between full political recognition of
the TRNC on the one extreme, and the denial of the existence of
the Turkish Cypriot side as a politically equal party on the other
extreme). We should not tolerate the by now "stale"
argument that anything we do in the "grey area" would
mean "recognition", to be used as an excuse to maintain
the unjust and unsustainable state of affairs on the island.
Recalling also the statement of Prime-Minister
Tony Blair on 18 May 2004 that "We must act now to end the
isolation of Northern Cyprus", the non-recognition of the
TRNC should prevent neither member states nor EU institutions
from establishing direct contacts with appropriate Turkish Cypriot
authorities. In the case of Taiwan, for example, the European
Union has developed modalities through contacts at the "administrative
level" to facilitate trade and economic relations, although
recognition has not been extended to Taiwan. Similarly, although
the US does not recognise Taiwan, it has allowed for the complete
removal of the economic and political isolation on it.
I cannot stop myself from making another observation
regarding the submission of Mr Brewin. I find his "quick
fix" proposal of asking the Greek Cypriot government to authorise
the operation of Turkish Cypriot-controlled ports, as well as
his call for the authorisation of the Commission to act as an
accessory on its behalf, as humiliating and counterproductive.
This proposal in fact amounts to the subordination of the Turkish
Cypriot people to the authority of the Greek Cypriot government
and therefore contradicts the 1959-1960 Treaties as well as the
underlying principles of the Annan Plan. The realisation of a
new bi-zonal partnership based on the equality of the two sides
can only be achieved by the equal empowerment and treatment of
both parties, and not by subordinating one party to the other.
My final observation is regarding the point
raised by Mr Brewin that if the EU recognised the TRNC as a self-determining
sovereign state, it would be legally competent to choose to become
part of Turkey. While this is not the objective of the Turkish
Cypriot side (or of Turkey), it has to be understood that the
insistence of the Turkish Cypriot side on their treatment as an
equal party is a Treaty and constitutional right and is also aimed
at preparing the ground, in a forward-looking way, for a possible
future partnership between the two equal sides on the island.
Such a partnership cannot be realised if we allow the political
and economic gap between the two sides to grow and to become unbridgeable.
This is why the ending of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot
side and its political empowerment as an equal are important.
My appeal to the Foreign Affairs Committee is
to resist the temptation of acting on surface symptoms and on
propaganda information and instead to focus on a better understanding
of the underlying causes of the conflict and the preparation of
the ground (for example, levelling of the playing field) for a
new sustainable bi-zonal partnership settlement. This is important
for stability in the island and in the region, and is in fact
a global opportunity to disprove the dogma called "clash
M Ergun Olgun
21 October 2004
Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President's Office
Further to my submission of 21 October 2004
I would appreciate it if you could bring the following additional
points to the attention of the FAC regarding the claim of Mr Christopher
Brewin in his Memo of 18 October 2004 that ". . . the EU
cannot recognise the TRNC as a self-determining sovereign state,
legally competent to choose to become part of Turkey". I
hope these additional points will help in the better evaluation
of the validity of this claim:
The 1960 Treaty of Guarantee (to which Gt Britain
is a party) prohibits ". . . any activity aimed at promoting,
directly or indirectly, either union of Cyprus with any other
State or partition of the Island".
The Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have strongly
supported, and continue to support, the continuation of this prohibition
for any form of solution, thus ruling out the possibility of the
whole or part of the Island becoming part of Turkey.
Putting this point aside, if the argument of
Mr Brewin is valid for the recognition of the TRNC as a self-determining
sovereign state, then the argument is equally valid for the recognition
of a wholly Greek Cypriot government (the hijacked 1960 Republic
of Cyprus) since this would make the Greek Cypriot side legally
competent to choose to become part of Greece in contravention
to the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.
The Turkish Cypriot sides' desire for parity
and the equal treatment of their state is to redress the existing
imbalance between the two sides in order to facilitate a new partnership
settlement between the two equal parties. It is the present unequal
treatment of the two sides which is blocking the way for the establishment
of a new bi-zonal partnership because, thanks to the indifference
of the international community, the Greek Cypriot preoccupation
has steadily shifted to the retention of their unjustly acquired
monopoly of legitimacy instead of partnership and power-sharing.
The Turkish Cypriot side has repeatedly expressed
to the United Nations that it is even prepared to accept a package
in which the parity of the Turkish Cypriot state, with the Greek
Cypriot state, is recognised as part of the bi-zonal partnership
In conclusion, I would like to refer to paragraph
93 of the Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good
offices in Cyprus of 28 May 2004 where he says that to achieve
the goal of unification "
and for that purpose and not
for the purpose of affording recognition or assisting secession,
I would hope they (members of the Security Council) can give a
strong lead to all States to cooperate both bilaterally and in
international bodies to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and
barriers that have the effect of isolating the Turkish Cypriots
and impeding their development, deeming such a move as consistent
with Security Council Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984)".
M Ergun Olgun
27 October 2004